Monday, June 24, 2024

Tickets home remain elusive

While the Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan warns the launch owners to sell the advanced launch tickets in scheduled routine to make hassle free journey, thousands of passengers are suffering for want of a ticket for a ride back to their home to enjoy the Eid-ul-Fitr with their near and dear ones as the tickets are on the hand of black market sellers with allegedly involvement of Launch owners associations officials. This year, for the first time the launch owners’ associations have started selling the advanced launch tickets on scheduled date August 16 but mysteriously all tickets have been sold out within two days of opening. Those who found the tickets are saying that they have personal relation with launch owners’ association’s people.
“The Independent” as a passenger visited launch and steamer terminal for an advanced ticket but no launches could give a single ticket to the correspondent saying that all Dhaka to Barisal tickets are selling from Barisal Ticket Counter. When asked, Sundarban-7 Launch Supervisor Hanif said, “I called the Barisal Ticket counter telephone number for a ticket and if they confirm to us then we will give you a ticket”.
The correspondent dialed the ticket counter telephone number but counter-man Md. Jasim said, “If you have no reference of high officials then we are sorry to say that their is no ticket available to travel on our launch on the upcoming Eid”. The correspondent also tries on Suravi, Kirtonkhola and Parabat Launch for the tickets but everywhere the result was same.
About the launch tickets, Mahadi-Ul-Morshed, a resident of Luxmibazar area said that, “I know I will not got the launch tickets as it is only available for those who have power but I just came to the terminal for a try”.
Bikrom Chakrabarti, a student of Jagannath University said, “In a festival, advanced tickets are seems to be golden deer for us as only those people got the tickets who are lucky”.
Meanwhile, violating the Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan warns the launches have increased their travel fair on the upcoming Eid. The price of single cabin is now Tk 800 to 900 which was Tk 600 till August 20, the double cabin is now Tk 1600 which was Tk 1100, the Sofa is now Tk 450 which was available at Tk 300, the VIP cabin is now Tk 3000 to Tk 3500, which was available at Tk 2000.
While asked, Survai Launch Supervisor Sunil Sarker said they are charging the travel fee as per government rate but he failed to answer why they have taken the previous rate till August 20 in exchange of government rate.
After all of this, thousands of people are visiting the terminal everyday for want of a ticket but only those people have it those who are lucky. “This kinds of incidents happen before every big festivals but no one take any action against it and stands alone with us to have a safe and smooth journey. Will it never changed in our country”, said Fahmida Lucky, a resident of Shambazar area who was on the terminal on Friday.
Asked about it, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Senior Assistant Director Md Ali Siddique said that, “As per I know the tickets are selling on government rate and no tickets are selling out on the black market. The ticket selling system is depending on Launch owner as it is their service”. But, when the correspondent visited all launch for a tickets, some pier workers came to him and said the tickets may be arranged but in case of that, the single cabin will be charged Tk 1400 while the double cabin is Tk 2500.
While asked about the security system, Sadarghat Police booth Sub-Inspector Imran Hossain said, “Extra forces and RAB officials will be placed at the terminal within couple of days to ensure tight security around the area”. There are still two weeks to go for Eid but tickets for all vessels are sold out for the general people, leaving thousands passengers aside, to travel back to their home.
Asked about it, senior vice-chairman of BIWTA (Passenger Carriers) Launch Owners Association, Md. Badiuzzaman Badal said that, additional launches are ready to serve the passengers. “We’ll provide those vessels if passenger demand is high enough to sustain such trips,” he said. “It’ll be a little tough to ensure smooth travel,” said Badal, “But we’ll try our very best.”


Courtesy of The Independent

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